Honoring Hepatitis Awareness Month in May and marking World Hepatitis Awareness Day on May 19 are critical ways to raise awareness and understanding about the global burden of viral hepatitis. Chronic viral hepatitis, liver inflammation caused by a virus, is globally the cause of most liver cancer as well as the most common reason for liver transplantation. Because of the asymptomatic nature of this infection, most people with hepatitis B and hepatitis C are unaware that they have been infected. According to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine, an estimated 3.5 to 5.3 million people are living with chronic hepatitis B and C virus infections.
Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H. Assistant Secretary for Health Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS)
The Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) serves as the primary advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on matters involving the nation’s public health. He oversees the Office of Public Health and Science for the Department.